Herewith the second installment of the childrens education camp in the Save Valley Conservancy at Chishakwe Ranch. After returning from the bush walk, and having a delicious breakfast, Mr Bryce Clements gave the students a riveting and interactive talk on rhinos and rhino anti poaching. Along with many interesting facts and figures about rhinos, the students were given an insight into the life of an anti-poaching ranger, complete with a demo of a contact with poachers!
Lunchtime was next, interrupted only by the finding of a (harmless) spotted bush snake which caused a great furore and a good deal of interest once it was safely in-hand.
After lunch, our AWCF attachment student, Nobesuthu Ngwenya led a discussion on the importance of wildlife in African culture, including hearing about people’s different totems. It was a fantastic session, with a lot of enthusiasm and interest:
Next, we held an interactive session about the five large carnivores, demonstrating the differences in their skulls with real skulls and discussing their strengthes relative to humans. We had kids trying to climb up a few steps carrying another kid of their own body weight (as leopards do up trees), and kids racing against the clock to see if they could beat the cheetah maximum running speed…
Sadly they didnt make it (!) but it emphasized quite how amazing these animals are, relative to us meagre humans.
We then used various sized groups of students to illustrate how much easier it is to catch impala when working as a pack (of wild dogs). Unfortunately someone then had the bright idea that I should be the impala and the WHOLE group of students should be the wild dogs…..
Suffice to say I was caught and “disembowelled” fairly promptly :)!
We then went on a game drive in different groups. All four vehicles managed to see wild dogs, which was fantastic, and we also saw lots of giraffe, impala, kudu, wildebeest, baboons, warthogs and even elephants and a hyena. The students - most of whom had never been to the bush – were stunned and wonderfully excited by everything!
I could go on, but suffice to say an amazing few days was had by all, and we hope it installed a love and respect of the bush and it’s wildlife into many of the students who attended. Thank you again to Chishakwe Ranch for providing all the accomodation, and for help in so many other ways.
I don’t normally do this, but please, if anyone is able to help us fund trips like this, it would be a massive help. Everyone involved volunteered their time, but the transport costs, food and supplies all add up, and if anyone thinks they could help support us to cover the costs of this trip, and others in future, please visit www.africanwildlifeconservationfund.org or click on the Donate button on this page. Think how much difference you can help us make to Zimbabwean students! Thank you.